Split Infinitives

starship enterpriseThis is a reblog of an excellent post by Hannah McCall. What’s the deal with split infinitives anyway? Is there some grammar scale that will tell me how bad they are? Can I get away with one or two if I REALLY want them, or will some special book police show up and cause me grief?

These questions and more answered, so read on. And while you’re at Hannah’s site, take a look around. She’s got plenty of other useful writing tips to share. 🙂

Hannah McCall

An infinitive is the form of a verb made by adding to to its stem (e.g. to go or to do).

It is often argued that there should never be anything between the to and the stem. In Latin, the infinitive is a single word.  This has led to the belief that the infinitive in English should be treated as a single unified concept, and that it is bad grammar to separate the two parts.

It is not bad grammar to split an infinitive; there is no grammatical reason not to. It is sometimes impossible to convey your meaning without splitting the infinitive. Sentences quite often read better when the infinitive has been split.

The most famous example of a split infinitive is probably to boldly go (from Star Trek). Would to go boldly or boldly to go have the same emphasis? No. Are they more natural? No.

View original post 240 more words

Avid writer and reader, especially of fantasy. Learning about social networking and always interested in honing my writing skills. Contact me at cathleentownsend.com.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Writing
2 comments on “Split Infinitives
  1. Thank you for such a lovely introduction to my post. I hope your readers find it helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: